Today I am thrilled to bring you a review for this exciting book, Rouge by Richard Kirshenbaum, available from St. Martin’s Press on June 25, 2019! I also will have a giveaway over on my instagram page, in case you are interested. A huge thank you to FSB Associates for the invitation to read and review Rouge and for sponsoring the giveaway!
Wowza! Rouge was fun, enlightening, and enthralling! Richard Kirshenbaum immediately places the reader smack dab in the mix in between two icons of the beauty industry. There’s a fierce rivalry between these two women and who will be on top of marketing make-up. But it doesn’t start and end there.
Rouge also examines the dreamers who invented the modern cosmetics industry, the woman who made herself a style icon and the richest female in the world, the woman who creates a door-to-door beauty sales business, and the first African American female millionaire.
Everyone wants to be number one at any cost, even if it means murder.
Beginning in 1922 and continuing through 1993, Rouge is perfectly-written, well-paced, and full of antics and drama. I was completely invested in this entertaining story and I loved the historical backdrop of the 30s, probation, McCarthyism, and all the societal pressures that came along with each time period.
Rouge is full of intrigue, the cast of characters are complex, dynamic, and memorable, and I thought this was a masterful presentation of the pursuit of the American dream and the cutthroat nature of business.
I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.
About the Book:
Like Swans of Fifth Avenue and Truman Capote’s Answered Prayers, Richard Kirshenbaum’s Rouge gives readers a rare front row seat into the world of high society and business through the rivalry of two beauty industry icons (think Helena Rubenstein and Elizabeth Arden), by the master marketer and chronicler of the over-moneyed.
Rouge is a sexy, glamorous journey into the rivalry of the pioneers of powder, mascara and rouge.
This fast-paced novel examines the lives, loves, and sacrifices of the visionaries who invented the modern cosmetics industry: Josiah Herzenstein, born in a Polish Jewish Shtlel, the entrepreneur who transforms herself into a global style icon and the richest woman in the world, Josephine Herz; Constance Gardiner, her rival, the ultimate society woman who invents the door-to-door business and its female workforce but whose deepest secret threatens everything; CeeCee Lopez, the bi-racial beauty and founder of the first African American woman’s hair relaxer business, who overcomes prejudice and heartbreak to become her community’s first female millionaire. The cast of characters is rounded out by Mickey Heron, a dashing, sexy ladies’ man whose cosmetics business is founded in a Hollywood brothel. All are bound in a struggle to be number one, doing anything to get there…including murder.
Have you read Rouge, or is it on your TBR? Happy Reading! ~ Jennifer THR